The Grey Isle Tale - now available!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Lewis-Lock Wedding

Lewis-Lock Wedding

~ Order of Events ~

 1. 1. Pastor welcomes guests, ending instructions
  2. At 1:15 pm Groom and Groomsmen will walk up front from either outside or from another room.
3.     Once Groom and Groomsmen are settled upfront, music will begin. Bridal party will be lined up in order of appearance in Kitchen.
Procession commences in the following order:
- Grandparents (Wayne and Mary Lock)
- Parents (1, Babs, 2 Cheryl, 3 Elena) – Katie’s parents remain standing near front
- Bridesmaids (1, Maddy, 2 Lydia, 3 Steph – closest to Katie)
- Flower Girls (Payton and Parker – have parents responsible)
* Note. Best Man Paul has Ring, Maid of Honor Steph has Ring)
- Procession music begins
- Bride and Father of the Bride come down the isle

3. Bride is given away
Pastor: “Who gives away this woman to be married to this man?”
Katie’s parents: “I/we do”
Pastor: “You may all be seated” (except for Bridesmaids/Groomsmen)

4. Sermonette:

I first met Katie almost a decade ago. It was an icy Missouri winter. Katie, myself, and Steph along with some others were heading down to Columbia to catch a production of The Nutcracker Ballet. If I remember rightly, I had just gained bonus points with both her and Steph because when asked what I thought about Katie, I answered something like, “oh her? I think she’s hot” (sorry, Jason).

First meeting Jason was a bit different. Katie and Jason had come over for a game of cards and drinks – a game, I might add, that I was blatantly cheating at, and still managing to spectacularly lose. Steph and I were (and still are) naturally protective of Katie, they being best friends. So, after the last farewells were exchanged and Katie and Jason left... we could finally shut the door – and then real discussion began. What did we think of that new guy, Jason? Were they right for each other?

At this point, I think this occasion speaks for itself. Jason speaks for himself. We are each and everyone one of us here because we believe in them: together
– In fact, it’s really because of Katie that I’m here today, marrying her and Jason. I was volunteering at a Friday night youth outreach in Moberly way back when... Every Friday, I played doorman to the area youth who came… then, one evening in the fall Katie walks in… and starts asking me questions left and right about her best friend Stephanie. – What I thought about her – how I felt about her… I tried my best to play dumb (which comes naturally for me)… but needless to say, I was a little suspicious.

Then, sometime later, while I was visiting in Quincy, we sat across a plastic table at Taco Bell… she was continuing to plumb me for information about Steph, suddenly 
- I dropped my act. But Katie had accomplished her matchmaking work. A single car ride later that evening with Steph and we were dating. – and the rest is history.

It’s not everyday you get to help marry friends. Usually, wedding officiators – pastors and what not – they’re on the clock, working. There’s a certain expectation that comes with all this… Everything from the tired ‘Love is patient… love is Kind’ verses out of 1 Corinthians 13 to old scraps of Genesis. But I’ve come to appreciate something else here. That we’re in this together. When we get married, what we’re saying each day through all our words, and all of our actions is we’re here for the person we married however many years ago. It’s harder some days than others. It’s something each of us should not take lightly. Our words mean something. Our vows mean something. Each day in marriage we repeat them. They last as long as we mean them.

What you say here won’t change your life. It won’t. But it will change your spouse’s life – and it will redefine your own.

What I’m saying now is a passing moment. Nobody remembers the sermons (If you don’t believe me, I’ll be happy to quiz you at the reception later). But we’re going to remember Katie and Jason, right?! Today is their day. And the next day – and the next day – for as long as they both shall live. – but while they’re in this together, they’re not alone, either. Relationships are not solo ventures. By nature, they imply community – and that’s where the rest of us come in. It’s up to us to help them. It’s up to us to want and act upon the absolute best for them, regardless of what we, ourselves, might want.

Today marks the beginning for Katie and Jason. It’s the big kick-off – it’s the solemn promise - They're playing for keeps now. When you look at them, and they look at each other-  you know. You just know – they’re for each other. We’re dealing with holy stuff right here. As holy as crosses and covenants. Two people coming together and saying, 'we’re going to do this, together. Live our life together. Thick or thin. Come hard times, good times – and every little thing in between.' Because I know Katie means the world to you, Jason; and Katie, well Jason’s an alright guy (Steph and I decided it).
 Before the Bride and Groom exchange vows and rings, I’d like to lead us in a moment of prayer and silent well-wishes… (prayer)

In the Bible, exclamation points had not yet been invented. So when a phrase or word is repeated - it's their version of a shout! Out of the many books which make up the Bible, there is a line about Love which Shouts!
"Do not arouse love until the time is ripe - until you are ready."

Are you ready?

5. Bride gives Vow.
Groom gives Vow.

6. Pastor introduces Ring Blessing Ceremony and Significance of Rings:
Now we are going to move to a time in this ceremony where we bless the rings. I'll begin, and then the rings will be handed to you, where you will have a chance to lay your own blessing and well-wishes upon them for Jason and Katie. When you are finished, please pass them onto the the person next to you. Once the rings have made their way to the back, they will be passed across the isle where so they can make their way back up front.

I'll begin: Made from metals drawn from deep within the earth, may these rings remind you that your love, also, must be drawn from deep within you. Forged in heat and with great effort, may these rings remind you that your marriage is also crafted daily and tempered in the forge of daily giving and forgiving.

Father, bless these rings as visible signs of the inward and spiritual bond which unites their hearts. This circle will now seal the vows of their marriage and will symbolize the purity and endlessness of their love. As they give and receive these rings, may they testify to the world of the covenant made between them here.

Would the Best Man and Maid of Honor now please pass the Rings down the isles.

(Once the rings have come back up front:
Best Man/Maid pass rings, gather rings, then give to Couple)
Pastor: “Do you, Katie, take Jason to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and health, in good times and bad times, as long as you both shall live?”
Katie: “I Do” (Ring)
Pastor: “Do you, Jason, take Katie to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad times, as long as you both shall live?”
Jason: “I do” (Ring)
Pastor:Ladies, Gentlemen, esteemed guests, by the power vested in me I now pronounce Jason and Katie Man and Wife. It is my great pleasure to introduce to you now, Mr and Mrs Jason Lewis. Jason, you may kiss your bride.”

7. Music plays, Bride/Groom exit down isle and wait in back. Wedding party exit down isle
- Groomsmen/Bridesmaids
- Parents
- Grandparents
8. Bride and Groom come back and thank guests row by row.

9. Wedding pictures will be taken afterwards

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How to Write & Publish - notes for the road

How to Write & Publish

By Ryan P. Freeman

Hey all, here's my notes for my 2017 Author Tour! Along the way, I'll be stopping at one college and three high schools, talking with students about what it takes to Write & Publish. My goal is to empower new writers to finish their stories and get them published. Without further ado, here's my rundown:

- About Me

How to Write

- Getting Your Story
            - Vision and Feel

- Pantsers Vs Plotters

- Write!
            - Write what you really, honestly love
            - “Writing is easy, all you have to do is sit down and bleed.” – Hemingway
            - Addressing the voice of doubt
            - Where-How: 1k words/day x 6days/week x 3mo = finished manuscript
            - Take a Break

- Feed Your Imagination
            - Read (Know what good stories are like by immersing yourself in them)
            - Travel
            - Explore
             - Join Writers Groups

- Beta Readers

- When is your story finished?

How to Publish (begin PR)
- Different Publishing Routes
            - Traditional
            - Indie
            - Small Press
            - Self-Publishing

- Design
            - Formatting
            - Feel/Physical size

- Finding a Cover Artist

- Day-of-Publishing
            -launch event

- PR (Keep Writing!)

- Write!
- Feed Your Imagination
- Publishing
 - PR
- ‘Make Good Art’
- Questions! – Get to it!
- Join Writers Groups in your Area

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Breaking NEWS!

If you haven't seen already...

I've got a brand new


Behold it in all its glory here:


(thank you, yet again, to Jennie Kelly and my various contributing concept artists!)


I've started a super-cool new YouTube series called  
Ryan Talks 
- where I blather on about what it takes to write Fantasy.
Feel free to subscribe! 

(That is all.)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Great Chase

The Great Chase

Why Friendship and Joy-Chasing are Essential for

A Life Well-Lived


In lieu of the increasing fans (like you),

here's a new post!

I'm not really sure what to write. It happens more often than not, actually. What really kills me, though, is how I'll get these excellent writing moods... all the stars will align and a hallelujah chorus will shimmer down from above... and then I'll get distracted.


And no, before you bring it up - it's not all social media distractions, either. Life gets distracting. My mind just becomes all cluttered up sometimes. Lately, I've been without a car - which has been frustrated. I don't like always being stuck at home, and it can drive me up the walls. As a writer, and really just as a regular ol' human being, the ability to get out when the fancy takes you is essential. I'm sorry Emily Dickinson... but no... I have mad respect for you and all... but still no.

I guess what I'm trying to say is how I think really good writing is something which, barring a gift from fickle muses, comes out of life well-lived. Good-bad-ugly... but still life well-lived.

What makes for a well-lived life?

I'm no Marcus Aurelius, but I think CS Lewis was on to something when he writes about Joy-Chasing in his Surprised by Joy, and also in his Pilgrim's Regress. There are things you will find, uncovered within yourself - or introduced to you by others, which stir up a Longing inside. For me, they're things having to do with mythology, theatre, traveling, Autumn, the rain... It's funny, because a tell-tale sign that you're probably on the right track to identifying exactly what your Joy is - the harder it becomes to say exactly what IT is. - Like those who have tasted of the magical food from Faerie... after you've returned from the Perilous Land, you're always left wanting in a delightful sort of agony.

Lewis humbly suggested that what we want is not, perhaps, the Thing ITSELF, but the chase. So the next time something moves you, don't try to possess it. Merely enjoy it while it is, as it is, and then carry on. Keep IT secret - keep IT safe.

Another thing I think lends to a life well-lived are good friends. A man may be the poorest in the whole world, yet if he has genuine friends he is rich. Friendship is one of those things which lend to Life's sense of meaning and purpose. When you suddenly discover that the guy or girl over there likes the same thing you do... that same secret Joy... there is often a moment, whether spoken or not, where each thinks something like, 'What? You too?'.

- This same thing is partly how I first met my to-be wife, Steph... it's how I first met my esteemed friend (and fellow author) R.E. Dean... Friendship helps make us MORE. A Joy we may have inside remains only that one Joy, but when friendship allows people to share a Joy... its like light splitting through a prism into a million new possibilities we never could have come to on our own. Shared Joy via Friendship is like staring down from a great height... we see all the twists and turnings which could have taken us higher up and deeper in - and all the other paths which could have led us on... but our Journey would have been radically different. Thus, WE would be radically different, in turn.

What does any of this have to do with writing, though?

It has exactly, precisely to do with writing because when we finally do sit down and write, we are not just putting words on a page, but little pieces of us. This is not ink, nor mere pixels which you now read - but the confluence of hundreds of thousands of interlinking friendships formed over shared Joy-chasing. Each word is not only my own - but also immaculately blended bits and pieces of people I've known and loved from all over the world - living and departed.

And it's the same when you create something, too.

Whenever someone pours their heart and soul, time and energy - blood, sweat, and tears - into something beautiful - we see Life as Art. (Tolkien would call it 'Sub-creation')

In all your Joy-chasing - happy hunting. Write on! Read on!

- Ryan

Monday, August 15, 2016

On Chronological Snobbery

On Chronological Snobbery

(A Rant) 


When researching through mythology and history for my fantasy works, I think it's an important point to remember the dangers of Chronological Snobbery.

What is Chronological Snobbery?

Roughly, it is a term coined by Professor CS Lewis used to describe people who assume their time and culture are right and how others which came before are obviously wrong.

A good example of this is the general idea of Modern Progress, which has its distant roots grounded in The Renaissance and its nearer roots embedded with the Industrial Revolution.

Are we living in the greatest moment in all of Time? 
Isn't that a bit conceited to assume we are? 
What about other times and places?

Now, it could possibly be an easy route to take, in trying to say that oh, well since we don't live in 1548 or some such era, we can't very well say, either way, which has it better.
As my good friend, fellow author, and budding Medieval Historian, R.E. Dean would say (probably),

When you read old works, try and understand what the authors mean - not what you assume they might mean. One of the wonderful qualities of History is how it can tell us exactly what WAS witnessed, believed, and considered important. Professor Lewis, while remembered mainly for his outspokenly Christian-based fantasy and lay-man theological works, also wrote other things, too. 
(As a British Professor, he was sort of expected to, you know...)

In one of the other excellent books he wrote, On Words, Lewis explores the importance of how words are used through the ages, by following a few of them. By doing so, one can learn just how easily passages from Shakespeare to Caesar can be misread because linguistical context is misunderstood.

Will we always only read things 'correctly'? 
Is reading and understanding 'rightly' all there is to enjoying a good book?

(*rolls eyes) What do you think?

But the ideas and sentiments behind what is being recorded through History and Myth - the storied voices and mirrored Truths which other eyes witnessed and other hands now long turned to dust touched come to life. They rise like long shadows cast down through the years to illuminate our own modern history and everyday lives. When we read intelligently, we are not reading books. We are peering through another's eyes.

Good History does that. - It is not merely the analytical recording of tedious events, but second-life. When you pick up the Illiad, it's not assigned reading or something you're finally getting around to... You see the world as it was thousands of years ago. You're not learning dates, you're re-experiencing other people's lives, passed down through countless oral stories and translations, because what they saw and felt is important. Primal, even. And we're not too different from them, on a human level, either.

But only, if we continue to learn - and also think critically, with intelligence and an open mind.
To remain ignorant is to live in the Dark.


Other excellent reads relating to this rant include the following:

- Lies My Teacher Told Me
- The Book That Made Your World
- From Homer to Harry Potter
- The Discarded Image
- The Greek Way
- On Faerie Stories

Read On!
- Ryan

PS, my up-and-coming fantasy novel, Rienspel, releases THIS Halloween!!
(Don't worry, I'll keep you posted)